David Blackburn

Hughes in the ascendant

Hughes in the ascendant
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The indications are that Simon Hughes will become Lib Dem deputy leader. Politics Home reports that Hughes is backed by 29 of the party’s 57 MPs, which make him the outright winner in the race with Tim Farron. Hughes also received the backing of 60 percent of party activists on the Lib Dem Voice website.

The Tories will be both wary and pleased at this development. Hughes is left-wing, determinedly so, and among those who favoured a deal with Labour. Rumours abound that Cable’s resignation was contrived to promote Hughes, who is also said to be livid at being excluded from government - an Ashen-faced Hughes was spied shaking his head during the Queen’s speech debate. Animus and ego make for toxic coalition politics. Then again, if Hughes is intent on incident then that is Clegg’s problem, not Cameron’s.   

UPDATE: Or rather, Politics Home were reporting this story at the time of writing. Hughes remains the front-runner and likely winner.